Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Three members of the opposition New Party's youth committee were indicted by Taipei prosecutors Wednesday on charges of violating national security laws in collusion with a convicted Chinese spy.
New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠) and two other members, Lin Ming-cheng (林明正) and Hou Han-ting (侯漢廷), have been involved in organizing spy networks for China in Taiwan in collusion with Chinese student Zhou Hongxu (周泓旭), the Taipei Prosecutors Office has charged.
Zhou and the three New Party members became acquainted in May 2014, and then, based on instructions from officials with Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, set up groups at local universities and on the internet to recruit members in Taiwan in December that year, prosecutors said at a briefing to present the charges.
Aside from students, the group's primary targets were retired servicemen and the collection of intelligence on Taiwan's military purchases, prosecutors said.
The four suspects have tried to recruit people in Taiwan as spies for China for quite some time, according to prosecutors, who worried that if the suspects were allowed to continue to expand their network, it would infiltrate all walks of lives, especially military retirees.
Zhou, who oversaw their operations and served as an intermediary between them and China, was responsible for providing funding to Wang to help him develop the spy networks in Taiwan, prosecutors alleged.
Wang's father, Wang Chin-pu (王進步), was also indicted of seeking to undermine national security and public order by helping them expand Chinese spy rings in Taiwan.
Zhou is currently serving a 14-month jail term after being convicted of breaching the National Security Act in September 2017 -- part of the investigation into the case involving the four suspects.
The four have all been barred from leaving the country.
Wang denied all the charges and accused prosecutors of trying to set them up.
He said the prosecutors offered no tangible evidence of how he was a threat to national security or social order and simply pieced together the story they wanted to tell.
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said no secrets have been leaked to the group and no active servicemen participated in the groups formed.
Taipei prosecutors, meanwhile, also indicted the owner and three employees of a company called "Tung Tai" (同泰）on charges of violating Taiwan's Banking Act for allegedly helping the group launder money.